TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott has doubled down on last week’s bombshell story that claimed Damian Lillard is expected to ask the Portland Trail Blazers for a trade. The TrueHoop co-founder has gone on to suggest there is a rift between the star point guard and the Blazers organization.
Last Friday, Portland-based Abbott broke the news that a “source close to Lillard” believed a trade request was days away.
In response, Lillard refuted the claim to reporters at a Team USA press conference that same day, but said more needed to be done to address the holes on the Blazers’ roster.
“I woke up to those reports, a lot of people reaching out to me, but it’s not true. A lot of things are being said and it hasn’t come from me.”
“If you look at our team as it is going into next season, I don’t see how you can say this is a championship team.”
Last night, Abbott told NBC Sports Northwest’s The Bridge that he stood by the report, hinting at disharmony between Lillard and the front office, including President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.
Abbott also said he had received mixed opinions on Olshey’s job security, struggling to see both Olshey and Lillard on the team together this season.
“I stand by the reporting and I don’t think things are going very well between Lillard and the Blazers.”
“I don’t think we’re going to have (Blazers owner) Jody Allen, Neil Olshey and Damian Lillard all working under the same roof next season.”
Last week, when asked by The Athletic’s Jason Quick about whether he’d spoken to Olshey and Jody Allen separately, Lillard paused.
“I’ve spoken with Neil and I’ve spoken with Jody, I don’t think that it’s really that important to say either/or. I’ve spoken to both and I’ve been honest with both as I should be.”
Lillard is under contract with the Blazers through 2024-25. In the final year of that deal, he is set to earn $54.2 million dollars.
You can read a summary of The Bridge interview here.